If you’ve been following me for any amount of time, then you’ve probably heard me mention my buddy, Brandie, over at The Country Cook. And if you’ve been following Brandie for any amount of time, then you know about her affinity for poke cakes. Well, when I started brainstorming about how to put this recipe together for you and give it my own Southern Bite spin, I just knew it would be perfect as a poke cake. Well boy was I right! This cake is amazing. I just love the sweetness and texture of this cake. Tres Leches is Spanish for “3 milks.” It gets this name because it is traditionally soaked with 3 different types of milk to produce an extremely moist and delicious treat. I used the traditional sweetened condensed milk with half and half and then added regular milk via some coconut cream pudding to give it a poke cake element.
Many recipes I’ve seen only call for you to top the cake with berries or cherries, but the best Tres Leches Cake I’ve even had was topped with pineapple, strawberries, and kiwi, so that’s what I used on this one. You can really use whatever you want, I’d just suggest to only top the cake with fruit when you serve it as the fruit juices will cause the whipped cream to break down. Speaking of that whipped cream, if you’re in a pinch or want another time saver, you can use an 8-ounce container of frozen whipped topping that has been thawed instead. Y’all enjoy!
Tres Leches Poke Cake (3 Milk Poke Cake)
- 1 (15.25-ounce) box yellow cake mix
- + ingredients to make the cake according to the package directions
- 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 cup half and half
- 1 (3.4-ounce) box coconut cream instant pudding
- 2 cups milk
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 4 to 6 tablespoons powdered sugar
- cut fruit for topping (I like pineapple, strawberries, and kiwi)
- Prepare the cake per the instructions on the box in a 9x13-inch pan.
- Once the cake has cooled slightly, use the end of a wooden spoon to poke holes randomly in the cake. In a medium bowl, combine the sweetened condensed milk and half and half. Pour that over the cake ensuring to fill the holes with the mixture.
- Next, combine the pudding mix and milk together in a medium bowl (it can be the same bowl you used before) and mix well. Allow the pudding to set slightly (about 5 minutes) then pour the pudding over the cake making sure to fill the holes. Cover and refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours or even better, overnight.
- When ready to serve, pour the whipping cream into a large bowl and whip using a hand mixer or in stand mixer until frothy. Add the powdered sugar a tablespoon at a time until it reaches your desires sweetness. Whip until you get stiff peaks then spread the whipped cream over the cake. Top with the fruit as desired.
Can you use a cheesecake pudding???
I don’t see why not! Enjoy!
I have never tried it but I don’t see why not! Let us know how it turns out!
Yum!!! Great cake and I really loved seeing the photo because the fork is the same as my mom’s silver pattern…Rogers 1847, First Love. She gave the set to me before she died 9 years ago at age 94. Thanks for a yummy recipe and for a nice walk down Memory Lane.
So sweet! Glad to hear you enjoyed the recipe!
I had to use vanilla pudding and white cake mix……it was still great!!!
Such a nice moist cake too.
Thanks, Virginia! Glad you enjoyed it!
Has anyone tried this with vanilla pudding? Was thinking of using that if I can’t find coconut cream.
It should work, you’ll just miss some of that coconut flavor.
If you use Cool Whip do you still use the powdered sugar. I just found this recipe and have a church homecoming soon and am thinking about making it????
Nope, there’s no need for the powdered sugar if you use Cool Whip. Hope y’all enjoy!
Made it many times over and it is awesome every time. Thanks for the easy and time saving recipe!!!
Wonderful, Sophea! So glad you’ve enjoyed it!
Yum! I tried this Nicaraguan cake recipe before and loved it. I will try your version as this looks amazing! Thanks!!!
Just made this. It’s great but 5 min is too long to let the pudding sit. It should be about 3 min.
Great tip! Thanks, Kristin!
Good day to you, Mr. Little. I found your website a few days ago, thanks to Christy Jordan’s Southern Plate site, and I’m so glad I did! I love your site -I spent some time browsing your recipes and I have a list pf ’em to try. I started with your Tres Leches Poke cake. I made it for a Mother’s day dinner and it was a huge hit. I make decorated cakes for most family get-togethers, but did not have the time for that nonsense this time around, but that cake was so pretty with the fresh fruit on it, no further embellishment was needed. The flavor was wonderful. My dad had two slices before everybody else got their first. I will definitely be making this again. I look forward to trying more of your recipes soon. Thank you.
Thanks so much, Sharon! Thanks to Christy for sending you my way! I’m so glad you enjoyed the cake and the ultimate compliment is that you’ll be making it again! Thanks so much!!!
Can I use pineapple chunks in can or do u recommend using fresh pineapple?
I prefer the fresh, but the canned will work just as well!
Such a wonderful cake!!
It looks simple and it has all the best flavors
I sooooooo wish I could a big slice now 🙂
It is delish!
The Better Baker
WOWZERS! T his poke cake sounds out of this world!! We are both blessed..Brandie is one of my dear friends too!! I know she loves you…shes the very reason I subscribed to your blog posts!!
Wonderful! I do love that gal! Thanks! I hope you’ll give the cake a try!